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Glamtariel's Fountain⚓︎

Direct link: Glamtariel's Fountain website



Stare into Glamtariel's fountain and see if you can find the ring! What is the filename of the ring she presents you? Talk to Hal Tandybuck in the Web Ring for hints.


Huh - what? Why do you disturb Akbowl?
I'm trying to get the ring in here for the Sporc Chief.
Unlucky for me it's lost in this water basin thing.
You will not get it out before Akbowl!


Significant CASE

Early parts of this challenge can be solved by focusing on Glamtariel's WORDS.

eXternal Entities

Sometimes we can hit web pages with XXE when they aren't expecting it!


Gathering additional information⚓︎

While it might be tempting to dive right in and throwing HTTP requests around, it really helps to take a step back and take note of exactly what Glamtariel and the fountain are saying. As noted in one of the hints, responses containing uppercase words are important. So, let's start by dragging all three batches of four images onto both entities and collecting some additional hints.

Additional hints

  1. I helped the elves to create the PATH here to make sure that only those invited can find their way here.
  2. I don't know why anyone would ever ask me to TAMPER with the cookie recipe. I know just how Kringle likes them.
  3. The elves do a great job making PATHs which are easy to follow once you see them.
  4. Kringle really dislikes it if anyone tries to TAMPER with the cookie recipe Glamtariel uses.
  5. Did you know that I speak in many TYPEs of languages? For simplicity, I usually only communicate with this one though.
  6. I pretty much stick to just one TYPE of language, it's a lot easier to share things that way.
  7. Careful with the fountain! I know what you were wondering about there. It's no cause for concern. The PATH here is closed!
  8. Between Glamtariel and Kringle, many who have tried to find the PATH here uninvited have ended up very disAPPointed.
  9. Wow!, what a beautiful silver ring! I don't have one of these. I keep a list of all my rings in my RINGLIST file.
  10. I never heard Glamtariel mention a RINGLIST file before. If only there were a way to get a peek at that.
  11. I like to keep track of all my rings using a SIMPLE FORMAT, although I usually don't like to discuss such things.
  12. You know, I've heard Glamtariel talk in her sleep about rings using a different TYPE of language.

Sentences containing uppercase words can be grouped into four categories: the risk of cookie tampering, a path we need to build, a different type of language spoken by the princess, and a ringlist file the princess uses for storing her ring collection.

Inspecting HTTP requests and responses⚓︎

With a solid list of additional hints in our back pocket, we can start taking a look at what exactly goes on behing the scenes when dragging images to either the princess or the fountain. Select the tabs below to get a better understanding of the relationship between the different UI elements and how they are represented in the associated HTTP traffic.

Rendered HTML

HTTP requests

Each time an image is dragged onto an entity, an HTTP POST request containing JSON data is sent to the /dropped URL path. The JSON data contains the image being dragged (1), who it was dragged to (2), and the type of request. Important to note is that each request also contains both a cookie and a CSRF token (i.e., ticket) which is sent via the X-Grinchum HTTP request header (3).

The JSON data in the HTTP responses contains the message from the fountain (4) and the princess (5), who the image was dropped on, and a visit field containing either none or a path to an image (6). In the example above, the link points to the stage2ring-eyecu_2022.png image which appears on screen right before moving to the stage with the four rings.

Using this information we can now use tools like curl, Postman, Paw, or even a Python script to partially or fully automate these HTTP requests so we don't have to go through the tedious task of manually dragging and dropping images in a web browser.

JSON HTTP requests via curl

curl -X POST \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "Accept: application/json" \
-d '{"imgDrop":"img2","who":"fountain","reqType":"json"}'

curl request

Accessing the ringlist⚓︎

We know the princess speaks an additional type of language (i.e., XML) and she stores here rings in a ringlist. Putting together disAPPointed (i.e., /app root), PATHs which are easy to follow (i.e., /static/images/), my RINGLIST file (i.e., ringlist), and using a SIMPLE FORMAT (i.e., .txt) helps us to determine that the location of the ringlist file is /app/static/images/ringlist.txt.

We can now switch from JSON to XML HTTP requests and leverage XML External Entity injection (XXE) to access the ringlist.txt file. We need to make sure that the Content-Type header and ReqType field are set to application/xml (line 2) and xml (line 11), respectively. The imgDrop field can be used to trigger the injection itself (lines 7 and 9).

Accessing the ringlist through XXE injection
curl -X POST \
-H "Content-Type: application/xml" \
-H "Accept: application/json" \
-d '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [<!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///app/static/images/ringlist.txt" >]>

Access the ringlist

Scavenger hunt⚓︎

The princess' response to the ringlist request kicks off a mini scavenger hunt where every response returns a path to a PNG image holding a hint for the next request. The first image is located at static/images/pholder-morethantopsupersecret63842.png and shows a pixelated folder named x_phial_pholder_2022 which contains a bluering.txt and redring.txt file.

Trying to use XXE injection to access /app/static/images/x_phial_pholder_2022/bluering.txt or /app/static/images/x_phial_pholder_2022/redring.txt doesn't yield any results. However, keeping the path but changing the filename to silverring.txt, which we know the princess would really really like to add to her collection, takes us to the next step.

Rom Bambidil Easter egg

A request to access /app/static/images/x_phial_pholder_2022/greenring.txt results in a Lord of the Rings reference and Easter egg! 😄

Access the silver ring

The inscription on the red ring in the second image tells us the next file is goldring_to_be_deleted.txt. Unfortunately, trying to access that file annoys the Princess somewhat and she tells us she thought we wanted her to look at the silver ring.

Access the gold ring

Exchanging the silver for the gold ring⚓︎

To get the golden ring, we can't just straight up grab it from the princess. Instead, we need to exchange it for the silver ring. At the start of the challenge we determined that giving something to the princess for her to look at is done through the imgDrop field, which means we can't use that field for triggering XXE injection anymore. Instead, we need to use the REQ and TYPE hint from the latest response and move our XXE injection to the reqType field.

Exchange the gold ring

This time, we're given the golden ring and with that the answer to this challenge! 👍



Automating the challenge using Python

Clicking and dragging images or copy/pasting curl commands can become a little tedious. This Python script automates the process by retrieving a valid cookie and CSRF token (i.e., ticket), sending the initial JSON requests, executing the necessary XXE injections, and downloading all the image assets.

Python script output



No! That's not yours!
This birdbath showed me images of this happening.
But I didn't believe it because nobody is better than Akbowl!
Akbowl's head is the hardest! That's what the other sporcs tell me.
I guess Akbowl's head is not the smartest.